Part I: Where do the parking rules and laws live?
There are essentially four official places to search for parking rules and laws that regulate parking in NYC:
- NY Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”), After you click on link, scroll down to VAT “Vehicle and Traffic Law” and click some more!
- Chapter 39 of title 19 of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York
- Chapter 4 of title 34 of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York
- NYC Administrative Code
The NY Vehicle and Traffic Law
The VTL codified laws passed by the NY State Legislature to regulate the wacky world of parking. These are state laws which cover the entire State of NY, including NYC; although NYC ignores some of the laws. For example, I think it is fascinating to compare VTL 238 (2), which states a summons must include:
“…the make or model, and body type of said vehicle; a description of the charged violation, including but not limited to a reference to the applicable traffic rule or provision of this chapter; information as to the days and hours the applicable rule or provision of this chapter is in effect,unless always in effect pursuant to rule or this chapter and where appropriate the word ALL when the days and/or hours in effect are every day and/or twenty-four hours a day; the meter number for a meter violation, where appropriate; and the date, time and particular place of occurrence of the charged violation, shall be inserted therein…”
While 19 RCNY 39-02 (a)
“Contents. (1) The notice of violation (summons) shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Director and shall contain the registration plate number, the type registration, the state of registration, the date of expiration, a description of the vehicle, a general statement of the violation alleged…”
As we all know by now, NYC parking ticket judges interpret the description of a vehicle to mean a “reasonably accurate” description; rather than adhere every time to the exact make, model or body type (especially for out-of-state vehicles).
Chapter 39 of title 19 of the Official Compilation of Parking Rules of the City of New York
The Commissioner of a State or NYC Agency has rule-making authority.
“Chapter 39 was adopted by the Commissioner of Finance to prescribe the internal procedures and organization of the Parking Violations Bureau, the manner and time of entering pleas, the conduct of hearings, the amount and manner of payment of penalties, and other purposes of article two-B of the VTL.”
For example, you’ll find 39-02(b)(1) which requires a parking ticket warrior to personally serve the operator of a vehicle with a summons by inserting the operator’s name on the summons. As we all know, a rule honored by the gaggle of warriors in its breach. Has anyone ever had an NYC parking ticket dismissed for the failure of a warrior to insert his/her name on a parking ticket?
This is the first of a three-part series about where to find all the laws and rules which regulate NYC parking. Look for Chapter 4 tomorrow.